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Marc Chagall – Le Cirque (M521)

Marc Chagall, Le Cirque (M521) is an original lithograph in colors from the edition of 24. Published by Teriade in Paris, 1967. This print is hand signed and numbered by Chagall. Mourlot 521.

The visual experience of the circus lay at the heart of Chagall’s personal mythology. In his 1967 lithograph series, the artist summoned the full spectacle in all its colorful variety. “For me, a circus is a magic show that appears and disappears like a world,” Marc Chagall wrote in 1966. “These clowns, bareback riders, and acrobats have made themselves at home in my visions. Why? Why am I so touched by their make-up and their grimaces? With them, I can move towards new horizons.” 

The spectacle of the circus and its performers had fascinated Chagall from his childhood days in Vitebsk, Russia, where traveling acrobats and equestrians often came to entertain crowds at village fairs. Chagall never forgot an incident when, as a young man, he had looked on as a father and his children performed clumsy but strenuous acrobatic stunts on the street. The passing public deemed their efforts more pathetic than laudable, and Chagall watched as they walked away, unappreciated and empty-handed. Then, as at other times during his career, Chagall must have feared that this might be the fate of anyone who sought for himself the life of an artist.

In his work, Chagall consistently sought to create fantasy worlds in which anything was possible. For him, the circus stage was the ideal setting for dreamlike, extraordinary acts: trapeze artists, lovers, cockerels and violinists floating in their own metaphysical spaces, defying, like the circus itself, the formal laws of composition.

Title

Le Cirque (M521)

Alt. Title

The Circus

Medium

Lithograph in Colors

Year

1967

Edition

24

Catalogue Raisonné

Mourlot 521

Signature

Signed and numbered

Size 20.5 x 14.75 (in)
52 x 37.5 (cm)
Price Price on Request
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Description

Marc Chagall, Le Cirque (M521) is an original lithograph in colors from the edition of 24. Published by Teriade in Paris, 1967. This print is hand signed and numbered by Chagall. Mourlot 521.

The visual experience of the circus lay at the heart of Chagall’s personal mythology. In his 1967 lithograph series, the artist summoned the full spectacle in all its colorful variety. “For me, a circus is a magic show that appears and disappears like a world,” Marc Chagall wrote in 1966. “These clowns, bareback riders, and acrobats have made themselves at home in my visions. Why? Why am I so touched by their make-up and their grimaces? With them, I can move towards new horizons.” 

The spectacle of the circus and its performers had fascinated Chagall from his childhood days in Vitebsk, Russia, where traveling acrobats and equestrians often came to entertain crowds at village fairs. Chagall never forgot an incident when, as a young man, he had looked on as a father and his children performed clumsy but strenuous acrobatic stunts on the street. The passing public deemed their efforts more pathetic than laudable, and Chagall watched as they walked away, unappreciated and empty-handed. Then, as at other times during his career, Chagall must have feared that this might be the fate of anyone who sought for himself the life of an artist.

In his work, Chagall consistently sought to create fantasy worlds in which anything was possible. For him, the circus stage was the ideal setting for dreamlike, extraordinary acts: trapeze artists, lovers, cockerels and violinists floating in their own metaphysical spaces, defying, like the circus itself, the formal laws of composition.

Marc Chagall is praised as a pioneer of modern art as one of the greatest figurative painters. He invented a visual language that recorded the thrill and terror of the twentieth century. Chagall is of French-Russian and Jewish heritage, and he lived through the horrors of world wars, revolution and ethnic persecution in Europe between 1914 and 1945. Much of his work is a commentary on his personal connection and disillusionment with this European history. Chagall conveys these messages in a uniquely expressive and dream-like manner.

Marc Chagall, Le Cirque (M521)

Additional information

Title

Le Cirque (M521)

Alt. Title

The Circus

Medium

Lithograph in Colors

Year

1967

Edition

24

Catalogue Raisonné

Mourlot 521

Signature

Signed and numbered

Size 20.5 x 14.75 (in)
52 x 37.5 (cm)
Price Price on Request